Community, students faculty participate for education initiative
By Vanessa Garcia
The No Excuses 5K Run/Walk will be at 9 a.m. Saturday on the Washington Street Campus.
The run/walk was created to support Amarillo College’s partnership with the San Jacinto Elementary School “No Excuses University” initiative.
“It’s promoting the No Excuses University with the healthy side of things,” said Trena Rider, an intramural specialist.
“There’s no excuse not to go to college, and there’s no excuses not to be healthy,” she said.
The run/walk will have prizes for San Jacinto families to win.
The top AC employee will win a gift certificate, and the top male and female AC student will win a $500 scholarship.
Any AC student who participates will have a chance to win a $250 bookstore scholarship in a drawing. Community members will get prizes, too.
“We give different medals to different age groups for the community members,” Rider said.
Rider said Eric Ross, a biotechnology major, came up with the idea last year.
“I wanted to see if we could get more people involved by doing events like 5Ks and maybe bike races, anything like that,” Ross said.
“Just something to get the community involved.
“I’d like to see Amarillo kind of be like Austin, where a lot of people are out doing something active. At the same time, it’s just kind of fun.
“Trena, she took my idea to heart, so a lot of the credit goes to her for getting it started. I threw the idea by her, and she made it happen.”
Rider said AC students and employees, San Jacinto residents and community members are invited to participate.
The event is open to anyone age 10 and up.
“Last year we ran an evening race, and so it brought a lot more outside people,” Rider said. “But just for safety reasons, we decided to move to a Saturday morning this year.”
So far 114 people have registered; 57 are AC students, and more than 20 are AC employees. Ross said he thinks about 150 people showed up last year.
“From what I heard last year, a lot of people enjoyed it,” he said. “I think there hopefully will be a larger showing this year.”
“We run out through Wolflin, around Austin Middle School and then come back up 22nd,” Rider said. “Then finish right at the same place we started.”
Many have sponsored the event, including several campus organizations.
The AC Foundation, AC Student Life, the Lone Star Runners Club – which provides the timing system for the event free of charge – and many other community businesses and organizations are participating in the run.
“This could not happen without any of these contributors,” Rider said.
She said she wants San Jacinto students to have the opportunity to see and participate in a college event and for AC employees to gain partnership with San Jacinto and to engage with AC students.
She said she also wants community members to see the value of the No Excuses University partnership.
Students who want to take part in the 5K still have the opportunity to enroll. Contact Rider or visit www.actx.edu. or the Carver Fitness Center on the Washington Street Campus.
Originally published: Thursday, October 20, 2011